Made of seaweed extracts, these pouches could biodegrade in six weeks

By Catherine Orda | Photo from Ooho! Water

At the London Marathon yesterday, thousands of edible water capsules were handed out in an effort to reduce plastic waste. The organizers of the 26.2-mile marathon had noticed that the event often ended with a great mass of plastic waste left behind the venue, and so decided that this year, they were going to do things differently. 

Instead of being handed plastic water bottles, race participants were given edible capsules made of a natural seaweed membrane. Called Ooho!, the edible water capsules could be bitten to release the liquid inside. Runners can decide to either swallow the cover or simply discard it—doing the latter is environment-friendly, as compared to the hundreds of years it takes for plastic bottles to decompose, the Ooho! capsules can biodegrade in four to six weeks. 

“The marathon is a milestone … we are hoping we will demonstrate that it can be used at scale in the future,” said Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, one of the startup’s founders.

The marathon was not completely free of plastic though, as water bottles were available at shops located along the route. But to stay consistent with their bid to reduce plastic waste, the event organizers made sure that all the bottles handed out to the runners were at least partially made of recycled plastic, and that there will be efforts made to collect and recycle all discarded bottles.